What happened to family farm lands?
The food that we eat, is the kind of food that is most profitable for giant agribusinesses and fast food restaurants. In fact, the revenue of fast food restaurants was about 43 billion dollars, about 10 years ago and now their revenue has gone up to 558 billion dollars. In the late 1980s, America was concerned about food security, so we spent money through subsidy for corn and research on how to produce cheap and processed foods. As a result, in less than a decade we found ourselves in abundance.
So we started exporting soy and corn to other countries and at the same time we thought there was no point to help family farms, since with the new technology we could fatten up our cows and chickens a lot faster than before. Our goal was to keep the prices low and stable, so we built an entire food economy based on industrialized food market. Today, corn and soy production are increasing, so is the rate of obesity. Based on USDA research, the main root of obesity is increase in calorie intake.
Americans today are consuming 600 more calories than before in form of high fructose corn syrup, corn starch, genetically modified wheat, soy, meat and potato. 50% of US farmlands are planted with soy bean and corn, whereas only 3% of US farmlands are used to grow fruits and vegetables. The profit margin of processed foods is about 90%, whereas profit margin for fresh products (fruits and vegetables) is only 10%. The fact is that many farmers plant soy and corn and think of them as a commodity and not food.
The farmers know that corn or soy that they grow will eventually be used in form of high fructose corn syrup in processed foods. Other local farmers who are trying to plant healthy foods are pushed out of bussiness by the consolidation of larger land holders. Today, if the whole nation decided to go on a healthy diet, there wouldn’t be enough fruits and vegetables to meet the public demands. Even if tomorrow, the farmers decided that they are going to plant fruits and vegetables instead of corn and soy, they would need a totally different technology and financial support for building new infrastructures.
The truth is that if you go with the flow in America today, you either end up obese or overweight. The question is that if we were about to start from the sketch, will our agriculture and food industry be the same as it is today? Obesity by itself cost Medicare and Medicaid about 150 billion dollars a year. Is it wise to wait to get sick and then spend money on health care instead of investing on healthy nutritional diet and life style? We have to come together as a community and make fruits and vegetables affordable and available in our supermarkets and make school lunches healthier. If we don’t make healthy foods a top priority, all of us, as a community or individuals are going to pay a serious price.
Find out how just Wal-Mart alone has crushed thousands of small businesses and food manufacturers in US and destroyed tens and thousands of jobs in order to maximize the profit by importing cheap foods and goods from China: http://www.seattleorganicrestaurants.com/vegan-whole-food/giant-food-corporations-Monsanto-DuPont-Wal-Mart-are-controlling-our-food-supply.php#WalMart